April 16, 2011

IRD Widget

Back in 1994 the pages in Mountain Bike Action were filled with a multitude of fancy and colorful cnc machined parts. All of them claiming to be the strongest and/or the lightest! The best adverts to drool about them where CBO or Cambria Bicycle Outfitters and the legendary BikePro.com. Lots of hours where spend assembling the dream bike of the moment.

But then i read the review of the fascinating full suspension bike of IRD. While the suspension was not that good the rear brake was just incredible. It was the IRD Widget brake and to me right than other brake designs where not interesting anymore. And even worse i had to have a set of them as soon as possible.

So I altavista'ed their website (the commercial use of internet was just beginning) and mailed them. A day or so later i got a response from Rod Moses, the founder of IRD, who ofcourse was more than interested to sell me a couple of Widget brakes. But besides that he was also interested in trying to break into the Dutch market and so sort of asked me to interest shops in the products of IRD. A few weeks later after transfering money to him the package arrived. In it where two sets of the amazing IRD Widget brakes, a Rocketboy.inc t-shirt and a stack of catalogues and stickers for me to give to interested shops.

Sad to say my commercial skills where more than lacking and the market was filled with other US made products. So i did not even manage to loose even one catalogue!

The brakes however where magic. Although more than troublesome to adjust neatly the power and quality was just incredible! And flashing forward 17 years they are still stopping me every day on my S-Works bike. Although nowadays discbrakes have better performance they are still without a doubt the strongest cantilevers ever made!

April 14, 2011

The Moon

The Moon was the fist ever space object i photographed through my telescope.
At the time i did not yet have a telescope mount that compensates for the Earths rotation making the Moon the ideal target. Because the Moon is very bright and close by the time needed to make a picture will be about the same as taking a picture during daytime. The lens (telescope) used has a much bigger aperture than a standard lens on a camera and so captures much more light reducing the time needed. The short time also reduces motion blur created by the rotation of the Earth and Moon.